Defence rejects Hall negligence claim

8:02 pm on 7 November 2013

Donna Hall's lawyer has told the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal that many of those involved with the land sale she is charged over complimented the work she did.

The case against Ms Hall has been taken by the Standards Committee of the Wellington District Law Society, which says her actions in the land sale in the Taupo area were negligent and led the law profession into disrepute.

Ms Hall is accused of acting for more than one party in a land transaction in circumstances where she should not have.

However, her lawyer Helen Cull, QC, told the tribunal simple negligence is not enough to prove the charge - it has to be of such a high degree that the profession is brought into disrepute.

She said four legal experts were involved in the transaction, the trustees of the entities involved in the sale knew what was happening and Ms Hall did not have a conflict of interest.

In reply, Standards Committee lawyer Gary Turkington said a responsible lawyer in Ms Hall's position would have told her clients the land sale had to go back before the Maori Land Court.

He said if her clients would not do that, she should have told them she could not continue acting for them.

The tribunal says it is a large, complex and important case, and has reserved its decision.